European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 96, Issue 1, pp 24–31

Prediction and validation of total and regional skeletal muscle mass by ultrasound in Japanese adults


    • Tokyo Metropolitan University
  • Charles F. Kearns
    • Tokyo Metropolitan University
  • Taishi Midorikawa
    • Tokyo Metropolitan University
  • Takashi Abe
    • Tokyo Metropolitan University
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00421-005-0061-0

Cite this article as:
Sanada, K., Kearns, C.F., Midorikawa, T. et al. Eur J Appl Physiol (2006) 96: 24. doi:10.1007/s00421-005-0061-0


The present study was performed to develop regression-based prediction equations for skeletal muscle (SM) mass by ultrasound and to investigate the validity of these equations in Japanese adults. Seventy-two Japanese men (n=38) and women (n=34) aged 18–61 years participated in this study and were randomly separated into two groups: the model development group (n=48) and the validation group (n=24). The total and regional SM mass were measured using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) 1.5 T-scanners with spin-echo sequence. Contiguous transverse images (about 150 slices) with a slice thickness of 1 cm were obtained from the first cervical vertebra to the ankle joints. The volume of SM was calculated from the summation of digitized cross-sectional area. The SM volume was converted into mass units (kg) by an assumed SM density of 1.04 kg l−1. The muscle thickness (MTH) was measured by B-mode ultrasound (5 MHz scanning head) at nine sites on the anatomical SM belly. Strong correlations were observed between the site-matched SM mass (total, arm, trunk body, thigh, and lower leg) by MRI measurement and the MTH × height (in m) in the model development group (r=0.83–0.96 in men, r=0.53–0.91 in women, P<0.05). When the SM mass prediction equations were applied to the validation group, significant correlations were also observed between the MRI-measured and predicted SM mass (P<0.05). The predicted total SM mass for the validation group was 19.6 (6.5) kg and was not significantly different from the MRI-measured SM mass of 20.2 (6.5) kg. Bland–Altman analysis did not indicate a bias in prediction of the total SM mass for the validation group (r=0.00, NS). These results suggested that ultrasound-derived prediction equations are a valid method to predict SM mass and an alternative to MRI measurement in healthy Japanese adults.


Magnetic resonance imagingPrediction equationRegionalSkeletal muscle massUltrasound

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005